Back to Work

by 5by5

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin.


Latest Episodes

363: She's My Horcrux

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about lots of recent experiences with the weird and often-frustrating world of streaming TV. What a mess. There's also some discussion of sauna suits, The Eagles, Mummers, and Dan's victorious t-shirt. Also, Dan needs your help with solving a terrible problem with one of Cash's iPad games.

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Posted on 13 February 2018 | 10:00 pm

362: A Yuck and a Yum

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about the Eagles' big win, what constitutes a catch, Dan's cool new shirt, Merlin's surprisingly positive interactions with Kabletown, the seeming magic of Movies Anywhere, some recent TV recommendations, and a great listener tip for using Nuzzel. Your hosts also respond to Listener Daniel's question about new job responsibilities making him feel like an impostor.

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Posted on 6 February 2018 | 10:00 pm

361: Caveman Arithmetic

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about crazy kids' homework, Dan's exciting nerd field trips in the Bay Area, the magic of PIXAR, a handy Netflix companion site, and using Siri on Apple TV. Things get a little heated during a discussion about all the weirdly fawning coverage of HomePod—and whether or when Apple's new speaker dingus might find a place in your hosts' lives. Recommendations include a podcast with Hawkeye Pierce, an excellent boiled eggs recipe, and some cool TED-Ed videos. Your hosts respond to listener feedback about bitter Nintendo cartridges and field an interesting question about creating consumer-friendly tech support.

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Posted on 30 January 2018 | 9:00 pm

360: I Haven't Lost My Knife

This week, Dan and Merlin talk a lot about writing and respond to feedback from listeners.

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Posted on 24 January 2018 | 2:00 pm

359: You Can't See Inside the Dog

This week, Dan has some weather, Cash makes a battery, homework can be a silly drag, management is about scalability and quantification, how to figure out how much you have to do, 80s movies can be problematic, ultracrepidarianism, making fish wanna get nasty, and you gotta give people ONE suggestion. Great listener feedback on the evolution of pro kitchens, real-life risk aversion, and a terrific use of Echo's drop-in functionality. Also, the possibilities and shortcomings of Machine Learning are discussed.

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Posted on 16 January 2018 | 11:00 pm

358: Dumb Ohio Mouth

This week, your hosts cover some odds and sods, share some recommendations, design some fantasy podcast apps, and introduce an exciting new feature involving the Internet Science Site. They also respond to a listener's thorny question about dealing with negative chatter in the workplace.

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Posted on 9 January 2018 | 10:45 pm

357: Scrolling Carousel of Pain

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about why they're trending, an exciting update on the Mr. Robot ATV bug, the frustrating opacity of using Apple's stuff, Dan's love for Nintendo Switch, nostalgia for NASA, Merlin's love for the Amazon Spot, the problem of fish food and regret, updates on your hosts' sleep technologies, possible solutions for killing spam on iPhone, and some more thoughts on dealing with Netflix's filtering, ratings, and…jeez kinda just everything about their dingaling interface.

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Posted on 2 January 2018 | 10:00 pm

356: Politics or Gender or Iron Man

The boys wrap up a big year—a huge year—with an unintentionally thematic episode about feelings, expectations, nostalgia, and the black boxes of life, technological and otherwise.

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Posted on 29 December 2017 | 10:45 pm

355: Eleven Dollars and a Bottle of Yoo-hoo

This week, Dan and Merlin talk about keyboard preferences (and their noises), Merlin catching Dan's weird "Mr. Robot" bug on Apple TV, feedback about "inside jokes," exclusion as a weapon, more good Robert Wright interviews, a deepish dive on Netflix personalization techniques (alongside some speculation on how well it's working), platforms and technologies as lobster traps, the problem with cartoons about screaming, how much kids love YouTube, the challenge of partnering with podcast middlepersons, a new Netflix show Dan likes, possibilities for new Marvel properties, and listener feedback on the potential benefits of using work tools you don't prefer.

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Posted on 19 December 2017 | 9:00 pm